I am a huge fan of journaling. I started journaling as a kid and after taking a long break, I picked it up again a few years ago. Journaling has been so beneficial for my mental health. I have made some of my biggest self-discoveries through journaling and I think that it can be very beneficial for everyone.
I have mostly used journaling as a way to let out my thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Journaling also helps me deal with anxiety. I keep a journal next to my bed and use it to write down things I’m worried about or things I need to process through. Journaling has helped me to make decisions and to see things more clearly.
I have also used journaling in the context of therapy and for mental health. Journaling can be highly beneficial for a variety of mental health conditions and can have many therapeutic benefits. A therapist once gave me a few journal prompts to use to help me process some of my anxious thoughts and look at them more realistically. Having a journaling practice really helped me in a positive way. Journaling has helped me to get through difficult times, process negative emotions, and has greatly improved my mood.
I also really enjoy going back and reading old journal entries. It can be a great way to see how you grow over time.
Since journaling has been so beneficial for my mental health, I decided to share some therapy journal prompts with you that can be used to help you with your mental health as well.
When you are new to journaling, it can be hard to decide what to write. These prompts will give you a starting point to reflect on things and remind you of what’s really important. I hope you find them to be useful!
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List 5 things you’re grateful for – write 5 things that you feel really thankful for today. This list can change over time.
Fear vs. Fact – draw a line down the center of the page. On the top of the left side write “Fear” and on the top of the right side write “Fact”. Now list all of your current fears on the left side. Then across from the fear, write all the facts that are related to that fear. An example could be Fear: I’m afraid that I’m going to get in a car crash. Fact: I am an experienced driver, and the odds of getting in a car crash statistically are very low.
List everything you’re worried about – use your journal time to simply dump out everything you’re worried about. This is a way to get your worries out of your head and down on paper.
What is something you’re looking forward to? When you’re not feeling too good, this can help you to focus on something positive that you have to look forward to.
Write a letter to your future self. What would you want to tell them? Imagine writing a letter to your future self. This could be the “you” in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 20 years…whatever you like. What would you want to tell them?
Write a letter to your inner child – Similar to the last prompt, if you could write a letter to the childhood version of you, what would you say? Knowing what you know now, what would you say to your childhood self?
This is good because… – this prompt is a way to find the silver linings in a situation. Sometimes we can get bogged down by negative things that are going on in our lives, but this prompt will help you to reflect on what is good about a negative situation. For example, if you made a mistake, you could write that this is good because you learned from the mistake and now you are wiser. There is always a way to find a positive.
What qualities about yourself do you love the most? This prompt can help you to reflect and acknowledge the qualities that you appreciate the most about yourself. What are ways that you could use those qualities to do good in the world?
What are some new habits that you would love to start? Why? – Forming and sticking to new habits can be hard. This prompt challenges you to think about what types of new habits you would love to bring into your life. Why would it be good to do these habits? How would they make you feel?
Write a letter to someone who has positively impacted your life – Write a letter to someone who has made a positive impact on you. Tell them “thank you” and explain how you became a better person because of them. You could even send the letter to the person if you want to.
Write down the things that make you happy – What are the things that make you happiest in your life? How can you focus on these things and incorporate more of them into your life? Sometimes we overlook the small things in life without realizing how truly blessed we are.
Write about something you would do if you knew you could not fail – What would you do if you were not afraid? Let your mind loose and write about what you would do.
Vent your feelings like you would to a close friend – Sometimes it’s nice to just free-write and let the words flow directly from your brain. Write down every thought you have on the blank page and just vent your feelings out to your journal the way you would to a close friend. Let your deepest thoughts out.
Set a 10 minute “worry time” – Set a timer for 10 minutes a day where you can write down all your worries and ruminate in them and when the 10 minutes is over, you close it up and leave them behind until you do the same exercise tomorrow
Make a list of all of your emotions right now – write down all of your current emotions. What comes to mind first? List everything that comes up for you.
No matter if you’re brand new to journaling or if you have never done it before, using these therapy journal prompts can be highly beneficial. I recommend giving it a try, you have nothing to lose!